MALDEN — The city’s first bilingual daycare center took the road of business expansion from Boston’s Chinatown district to Mountain Avenue.
Sunshine Learning and Care, Inc. opened its third learning center at 165 Mountain Avenue where owners, Xuli “Shirley” Huang Gervais and her husband, Ken Gervais, intend to enroll up to 100 local and area children ranging from infants to age 7.
The Gervaises made more than $700,000 in renovations to the learning center site where they expect to employ 30 employees as part of their teaching and care staff.
Dubbed Sunshine Childcare III, the couple’s Malden facility represents an expansion from Chinatown where they run two centers — one at 241 Harrison Avenue with 29 children and 236 Harrison Avenue with 16 children.
Sunshine Childcare’s opening represents the second expansion of a well-established service-oriented business from the heart of Massachusetts’ Chinese-American community to Malden.
This past spring South Cove Community Health Center finalized plans to expand to Malden, announcing it was renovating the former Malden Evening News building at 277 Commercial St. as a third health care facility to go along with established facilities in Chinatown and Quincy.
Opened in 1972, South Cove bills itself the “premier Asian community health center of Massachusetts.” Malden possesses one of the largest Asian ethnic populations in the state with more than 12,000 residents, according to the 2012 U.S. Census — second only to Quincy. Sunshine Childcare III instructors and caregivers speak English and Chinese. The center will also offer an early childhood training program.
Shirley Huang Gervais has completed advanced studies in early childhood education and oversees training programs. A native of China, she received her initial training as an educator there and also taught for a number of years before coming to the United States.
In addition to daycare and training for care workers, the Gervaises offer support peer group for many family child care providers in the area.